What Exactly is it that the Taiwan Greens Want? Extracting “Taiwan Subjectivity” from the Liberty Times Newspaper

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-44
Journal / PublicationJournal of East Asian Studies
Issue number1
Online published20 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


One source of the idea that Taiwan independence would be politically desirable is belief in the concept of “Taiwan subjectivity,” which indicates that Taiwan is not an appendage of China but instead an autonomous actor charting its own course – or trying to do so in the face of huge difficulties. The ruling (since 2016) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pledges fealty to the goal of ultimately realizing subjectivity but cannot aggressively pursue the agenda because of opposition from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the United States, and some in Taiwan itself. What might that agenda be? Using a Structural Topic Model, we excavate the subjectivity discourse as it developed from 2008 to 2020 in the mainstream DPP-supporting newspaper, the Liberty Times. We find fourteen topics associated with the concept, the most prevalent of which in recent years warn of threats to subjectivity’s realization in the political and sociocultural spheres.

Research Area(s)

  • Taiwan, China, Cross-Strait relations, Subjectivity, Structural Topic Modeling